The Nuttery : Volume 12 Number 3 (1993)

In this Issue...

Stop! Before proceeding, read the announcement of the forthcoming winter meeting, and mark your calendar. Take special note about the opportunity to test your new or old favourite nut recipe(s) on an interested audience, or to show tools, equipment, etc. And by all means, bring family and friends.

A number of chapter projects are updated in this issue. Read the latest news about Dolman Ridge and Oak Valley. Note the need for nut recipes for the new cookbook Kathleen Jones is compiling. If you would like to share nut growing information, tips, or experiences, contact Mark Schaefer as he draft the next edition of the nut growers manual for Eastern Ontario, now underway. Look into the Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project's efforts to build a portable educational exhibit on nut growing, and on organizing a nut growers workshop for 1994.

In the news, you will see a report on the Macoun Club day held this past fall. In case you missed the Fall Nut Tour '93, you can read the story herein. Expecting to go to this year's International Plowing Match in Pembroke, considering taking ECSONG's new exhibit along. Are nut trees valuable. Read about the defenders of a 250 year Chestnut. Need more copies of our Cookbook or Growers Manual. See the article on the second printing. Nut Pines from the high mountains of Lebanon. Learn more in this issue. Read about Ernie Grimo's prognostications on nut growing in Ontario. Tagua nuts? Ask Howard Edel.

In 'The Nut Grower' section, a motor-driven Black Walnut huller is being built by 'Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair' in Gloucester. Take note of the ECSONG Membership Card. Also, see about the attention being paid to the success we are having growing Sweet American Chestnut in Eastern Ontario. Lastly, note that Larry Krotz of Iowa has developed a simple, mechanical nut planter implement for your tractor.

Support the advertisers in 'The Nuttery Marketplace' section.

Note the most recent membership list, with phone numbers, to make it easy to keep in touch. The brochure may help your answer questions of your own or from others about ECSONG's activities.

Consider sending in your own articles for publication in the Nuttery, or write us a letter anytime. See you at the Winter Meeting!

The Winter Meeting 93/94

This year's winter meeting is slated for Wednesday, January 26, 1994 in the ground-floor auditorium of the Citizen building located at 1101 Baxter Road in Ottawa, near Pinecrest and the Queensway. The room will be open at 7:30 PM, and proceedings will begin at 8:00 PM.

This year follows our traditional format. We will have a number of invited 10-minute speakers. The evening will be split into two sessions, with an interlude. Exhibits will be mounted around the hall, some with demonstrations. There will be nut seed for exchange and for sale. Coffee and nut goodies will be available. Literature and books will be on display for viewing and sale. Dues can be paid.

For every speaker, another topic. Lots of time for discussion, questions.

Have an exhibit or a display? A poster maybe on nut growing or use, etc that you would like to show? Equipment for growing, harvesting, storing, processing, etc or the like? Nut or wood products, crafts, etc for show and tell? Bring them along to the exhibits section!

Have seed or stock for sale or exchange, or catalogs or price lists, etc? Bring them all along for the exchange section.

Got a tasty nut recipe: food, drink, etc? Make up some samples for the goodies section. Bring along the recipe for the new cookbook Kathleen Jones is compiling.

Come across some articles or books or videos about nut growing and related matters lately that you think members should know about? Taken any pix, or put together any photo-albums on ECSONG events or projects? By all means, bring them along for the literature section. Make a photocopy of any article for the ECSONG Technical Library, and pass it along to Alec Jones, our librarian.

Our winter meetings have traditionally been strongly participatory. It is a wonderful opportunity to show-and-tell your interest in nut/tree growing. Chase away the winter blahs! See you all at the Winter Meeting.

For more information, call any ECSONG officer.

The Dolman Ridge

In spite of some delay, plans for creating the Dolman Ridge coordinating committee are still underway. This committee is foreseen as comprising ECSONG, The Canadian Chestnut Council, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and possibly others. Its goal will be to assure that the special plantations along Dolman Ridge, made by Moe Anderson and others some years ago, flourish, and that growth rates are monitored. Ralph McKendry, chair pro tem, wants to see work getting under way as soon as possible. The first meeting of the group could be called for January or early February, 1994.

Oak Valley Spectacular

The Oak Valley Plantation, a cooperative project of ECSONG and the South Nation River Conservation Authority (SNRCA), made great strides in 1993. About five years in development, the last few years have seen a rapid advance. The site is partially planted, and some trees are head height. Surprisingly, a recently planted chestnut had burs on it in 1993. This tree, and others, were planted on the site under the Eastern Ontario Nut Culture Project (EONC).

A new culvert opened the entrance from the raodway into the site. A magnificent cedar fence now bounds the plantation. The rails came from demolition fence that was originally built in the 1840s. Landscaping has been done, forming inter alia a small pond. Weed control for both vegetation and trees is underway. A shelter belt is in the works. A driveway and parking lot are planned. And these are only a few of the year's advances. All in all, a spectacle to be seen!

The site is already photogenic. A good backdrop for formal photographs. Planning a wedding? Think about the Oak Valley Plantation.

For more information, contact Ralph McKendry, Vice-chair, ECSONG, and Chair, Oak Vallay Plantation Committee.

The new Chapter cookbook

Kathleen Jones is collecting nut recipes for a new cookbook. If you have or know of recipes for acorns, ginkgos, hickories, pecans, walnuts, beech, nut pines, etc, gather them up and forward them to Kathleen at 2446 Sudbury Ave, Ottawa, K2C 1L9. Also any information on gathering, storing or processing nuts would be welcome.

A New Nut Growers Manual

Mark Schaefer's first manual on growing nut trees in Eastern Ontario, is now in its second printing. Since it was first published back in 1988, as the Chapter's decennial project, we have come a long way. So Mark is now preparing to write the second edition. It will be encompass the first manual, expanding wherever new information is available. Share your knowledge, experiences or questions with Mark as he starts work on what will likely be a larger, more comprehensive manual on nut tree growing in this region.

Eastern Ontario Nut Culture (EONC) Project

Ted Cormier, Project Manager, reports that EONC is thriving. He is completing is annual report which we will see in the next Nuttery. The project is a $1200, joint effort between ECSONG and EOMF Inc., the Eastern Ontario Model Forest project which in itself has many partners.

Two key elements, among many, of EONC are now getting underway. The joint ECSONG/EONC portable exhibit is under construction, thanks to the exhibit committee chaired by Bob Stone, and its members Darryl Abbinett, Dave Baker, Ted Cormier and Hank Jones. This exhibit will displayed at conferences, workshops and other events in which promoting nut tree growing is appropriate. It will be shown first at the upcoming ECSONG Winter Meeting. It will normally reside at KCAT as an ongoing display for students and visitors. It will be available members at any time to be taken to events of their choice.

The other key element of EONC involves arranging the first Nut Growers Workshop for Eastern Ontario. An arrangements committee has been selected, chaired by Howard Edel, and including Chris Cummins, Bill Forest, John Ikeda, Bob Scally, Ted Cormier and Dave Chapeskie. The group should be having its inaugural meeting soon. Though a spring workshop may not be possible due to the short time available for making arrangments, the fall of 1994 should be possible. For more information, check with Howard.

ECSONG thanks all the members working on its behalf in the EONC Project.

The Macoun Day

On Saturday October 23, 1993, ECSONG presented nut trees to the kids of the Macoun Club in the old Victoria museum. Several tables were set up, each with its own demonstration of a particular aspect of nut growing. About 30 kids attended. A slide show of tree pictures from the ECSONG photo collection challenged the audience to identify the species. Only the ginkgo slowed them down! We spent nearly three hours with the club, and enjoyed it. These kids certainly know their biology.

The Fall Nut Tour

The fall nut tour proved to be something special, as promised. Ted Cormier's ('The Seed Source) nut hunter's dream tour of Eastern Ontario was all that and more. With Chris Cummins' and Kathleen Jones' help, Ted arranged a bus tour to take members, family and friends to see (and collect seed from) yellow buckeye; big red, white and bur oak; shagbark hickory; mature black walnut, including a gigantic 175 year old specimen planted by Mr Larue; and what may be Japanese walnut or heartnut. The Saturday, October 2nd, tour started from the Kemptville College of Agricultural Technolgy (KCAT), and visited Prescott, Larue Mills, the Howe Ferry just west of Gananoque, and the Mohawk Reserve at Desoronto.

The weather was not the best. We were also at the height of the flu season. Yet we had 24 people turn out! The Yellow Buckeyes in Prescott were gigantic and displayed lots of fruit. However, the warm weather leading up to the tour had delayed fruit drop, so pickins' were a tad slim.

At Larue Mills, we were treated to a talk by Celia Kainz, the present owner, on the history of the place. She and her husband are artists operating the Atelier La Rue, which charmed many of us with some delightful paintings, pottery and sculpture. We also got to collect lots of black walnut seed from the very old and large trees on the site. Nearby, we found an immense shagbark hickory, but unfortunately without seed. Our thanks to Celia for making our visit specially memorable and fruitful (I overheard several members say they intended to come back to the Atelier for some of the delightful pieces on display).

At the St Lawrence Beach ferry site, we found, just as Ted predicted, large oaks and lots of acorns! Ted also showed us red oak acorns from his premier tree located nearby that were the biggest acorns most of us had ever seen!

By the time we arrived at the Mohawk recreational park at Desoronto, the weather was clearing. We found red oak, white oak, bur oak, bitternut hickory and shagbark hickory, all with fruit. A nut collecting frenzy ensued. Comparisons were made between the various species of acorns, and we soon found we could tell which species was which from the acorns alone. Our thanks to the Mohawk Council for permitting us to visit and collect in their park.

We took advantage of the improved weather to take a group photo with our brand new banner held out in front. Thanks to Darryl Abbinett for taking the officials photos, which will be on display at the Winter Meeting. Let Darryl know if you wish copies.

Everyone enjoy the jaunt in spite of the rainy weather, and many felt we should consider a similar tour in the near future.

Thanks to our bus driver and the St Lawrence Transit company for ferrying us around. Special thanks to Ted and Isabelle Cormier for organizing the tour, and to Chris Cummins and Kathleen Jones for publicizing it.

The International Plowing Match

Ted Cormier says that the match will be held in Pembroke this year, and that ECSONG has an invitation to mount an exhibit. Note that our portable exhibit will be ready soon, and available to members to take to events of interest. Anyone interested in mounting the exhibit at the match? Contact any officer of ECSONG, and we will put the wheels in motion.

How valuable can a single chestnut tree be?

The following article is from a recent issue of the Globe and Mail:

"Chestnut tree conkered

It's now firewood, but until last week the 250-year old chestnut tree had become the symbol and rallying point for a community fighting a new highway east of London. The tree fell after a bloody, 12-hour standoff between police, six protesters living in its upper branches and dozens of supporters on the ground. At one point, a bucket of excrement was dumped on the head of a local police superintendent, prompting him to observe:"It's going to be a long day." It was. It took more than 200 police, 150 private guards and an arsenal of heavy equpiment to remove the people and the tree. Seventeen were arrested during the pre-dawn operation which produced numerous bloody noses and black eyes."

Second Printings of the Cookbook and Manual

ECSONG is still receiving orders for both its manual and cookbook. And there is some expectation that demand may increase. Consequently, Art Read (our Treasurer) is arranging the printings. The Cookbook is already in press, and the Manual will shortly follow. If you would like to order copies ahead of time for yourslf or as gifts for family or friends, contact Art as soon as possible.

Nut Pines from Lebanon

Antoine Sioufi, whose ancestry goes back to the mountains of Lebanon, recently produced a large bag of pine nuts gahtered by his relatives back home. As a child he had often gathered cones from trees found commonly growing in the town and surrounding countryside. Now, as he looked over the seed he had received, he wondered if he might be able to grow the trees in Canada. The answer: not sure. The species needs to be determined so its requirements can be discovered. For the moment, some of the seed is in stratification. More can be obtained for research and development. Might the Arboretum be a good place for experimentation? Meanwhile, Antoine is writing an article for the next Nuttery on how he gathered, opened and ate the pine nuts of the mountains of Lebanon.

Nut Farming

Claire Coons, Ontario's Agrofrorestry Coordinator, based at Kemptville Agricultural College (KCAT), sent the Nuttery a photocopy on article on nut industry. The article appeared in the ONTARIO FARMER, Eastern Edition of Tuesday, November 2, 1993 on page 21. In it, the author Peter Reschke interviews Ernie Grimo at the Fall Meeting of SONG in Orono. Ernie has been growing nuts and nut trees for many years at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Many of our members and projects in ECSONG are Ernie's customers for stock, including our own Eastern Ontario Nut Culture project led by Ted Cormier of "The Seed Source" in Oxford Mills.

In the article, Ernie talks about species, varieties, productivity, prices, difficulties and futures. Though mostly applicable to southern Ontario, some of the numbers may be guides for us here in ECSONG. He hints at nut pines for 'less traditional nut producing areas" as the species likes the same habitats as white pine. The article is well worth reading. The copy Claire sent will be forwarded to the ECOSNG Library.

Tagua nuts?

Howard Edel recently bought some of these nuts from Lee Valley Tools Ltd in Ottawa. The accompanying brochure explains...

"Called tagua or corozo, these nuts are the seeds of the ivory palm found in South America. For many decades tagua has been used as a substitute for elephant ivory. The largest user has been the button industry, but other specialized uses have included: dice, thimbles and needle cases, jewellry, drawer pulls, and small decorative turnings.

In Japan, tagua is often used for 'netsuke' the small, detailed carvings frequently used like toggles on robe ties. Since it carves readily, but is very durable, tagua has been used for miniature sculpture, cameos and small pieces of scrimshaw."

The brochure goes on to explain techniques for working with the nut. Similar uses have been of some of our native nuts, like the black walnut and butter nut. Is there a craft marketing in the offing for Eastern Ontario? If you have ideas or possibly samples, bring them to the winter meeting!

A Black Walnut Huller

Some thime ago, Ted Cormier of "The Seed Source" in Oxford Mills obtained plans for the construction of a huller for black walnuts. He passed these on to Mark Jones of "Alcon Welding and Small Engine Repair" in Gloucester. Mark's shop is now in the midst of building a single machine, which will be made available to members in the future. He plans to show the completed machine at our Winter Meeting later this month.

Mark acquired a 40-gallon water tank which will form the body of the huller. He is cutting, forming and welding the various components. A three to four horsepower motor will be mounted to drive the internal crushers. The machine is designed for continuous production, in which the whole nuts are introduced at one end, and are cleaned as they travel through, emerging at the other end sans hulls. the hulls themselves drop out through a grate and can be collected for secondary use.

For more information, contact Mark's shop at Gloucester 822-2871 or mobile 797-6672.

Membership Cards

Remember that ECSONG now has membership cards, thanks to Treasurer Art Read. Make sure you have received your card. With time, ECSONG will try to arrange discounts and other benefits for its "card-carrying members", specially with respect to nuts, seed, stock, equipment, etc. If you know of, or can arrange, any benefits for members, please contact the any member of the executive, and lets get this underway. Economic conditions are sure right!

Ottawa Chestnuts

The September '93 issue of the Canadian Chestnut Council's newsletter "... on the Chestnut Trail" (#7) notes that the chestnuts may be hardy than previously thought, witness the 17-year trees growing here in Ottawa at Dolman Ridge.

The same issue has practical information on storage, germination, planting and protecting of chestnut seeds and seedlings. For more information, write to the Council at 1332 Suncrest Road, Kingsville, Ontario, N9Y 3H3.

A tree seed planter for nuts

Larry Krotz of Washington, Iowa, designed his own nut planter. The article on page 4 of vol. 17, no. 6, 1993 of the "Farm Show" pictures Larry standing beside the device. It fits on the 3-point hitch of an agricultural tractor. The seeds, including walnuts, hickories and acorns, are dropped one at time down a tube that ends in a furrow maker. Once in the furrow, they are then covered by a trailing log chain. Travelling about one kilometer an hour (½ mile/hour) Larry drops one seed per running foot (three per meter). He claims that the direct planting of seed, rather than transplanting seedlings, yields much better growth. If you want more information about the device... Farm Show Followup, Larry D. Krotz, 2750 230th Street, Washington, Iowa, 52353 (ph 319-653-4959).

Provided by ECSONG. Feel free to copy with a credit.